31 Days Of Horror Movie Challenge: Day 31

Each day in October, three brave souls from our gang of Groovy Goolies (co-editor Paul Childs, Boardgames Master Aaron Nash and Ultimate Movie Geek Nathaniel Jepson) have watched horror films from around the world and across a wide spectrum of the horror genre and tonight is sadly our final instalment.

Paul’s Choice – The Shining (1980)/Alien (1979)

What can I say about these two absolute classics that hasn’t already been said?

Well, I remember watching The Shining with my friend Mez when my parents had taken my two younger brothers to the pantomime. Obviously, it was dark out, and we sat watching it on VHS in my lounge with the lights out. And we were well and truly freaked out by it. By the time the rest of my family came home, Mez was too afraid to walk the half a mile home! It scared two fourteen-year-old and, now, having watched it multiple times, it still gives me chills. This is my first time watching on Blu-Ray and it looks and sounds spectacular.

Stephen King, I love you. I really do, but we will never agree on The Shining. It might not be a very faithful adaptation but it’s still one of the greatest haunted house films ever made.

And now I’ll have Al Bowly stuck in my head for the rest of the week…

As it happens, I have Mez to thank, albeit indirectly, for my second film too. We used to watch a lot of films together – Die Hard, Predator, The Running Man and other films of that ilk. One night we went to the VHS rental store and came back with Lethal Weapon and Aliens – both of which he recommended, and neither of which I had seen before. I enjoyed both immensely and soon after bought my own copies to keep. I got Alien too on that day, so I could find out just how Ripley got in the situation we find her in at the start of Aliens. The first time I saw Alien I watched it alone in my bedroom. I was thought I’d get another rollercoaster-ride of an action adventure like its sequel, but what I got instead scared me far more than I expected – and I loved it!

It’s still a fantastic film, but as I grow older I find it’s not so much the xenomorph and more the actions of people which scares me in Alien and its sequels.

Aaron’s Choice – Perfect Blue (1997)

Perfect Blue was one of the first anime films I remember watching on VHS when I was younger. It scared me back then and surprisingly still sends shivers down the spine today.

It follows Mima Kirigoe, the lead singer of a Japanese pop band. She retires from music to pursue acting which more then angers many fans. Getting work on a crime drama, things start to go wrong and Mimi’s reality begins to merge with fantasy as she falls into a paranoid world of stalking and murder.

The whole film oozes with a sinister feeling and one that really keeps you on edge throughout. As reality begins to blur, we question what is happening to Mimi and start wondering how much more her mind can take. It really is a creepy head trip.

The visuals are beautiful and the fact it was all hand-drawn animation, means it hasn’t really dated. It still looks absolutely stunning and is up there with some of the best. The fact its animation makes the blur between reality and fantasy even greater.

As the murders and mystery progress the tension builds rapidly and really has you questioning who the killer might be and if there is the possibility it’s Mimi herself. It has perfect pacing and just about everything works.

It’s a tense chilling horror thriller that is as good today as it was when it was released. It’s an amazing film and easily in my top ten favourite anime films of all time.

Nathaniel’s Choice – Halloween II (1981)

Our resident YouTuber ends his 31 Days with the film that many believe should have ended the Halloween series (although we will fight anyone who has a bad word to say about Halloween III):